Wednesday, October 9, 2013

La mort d'un grand homme

To me Patrice Chéreau will be remembered as one of the great men of 20th century theater, a man who embraced opera and elevated it to the heights that assured its status of gesamtkunstwerk  to our days. He will also be [and should be] remembered as a great man who had courage and intellectual audacity to take Wagner away from the hands of fascists & right wingnuts and show the world that The Ring can be interpreted in a radically new way, as to resonate with our time and with us.

He was one of the precursors of the modern day theatrical language in which theater offers a quality that no TV or cinema can offer; in which a pure human emotion transcends the limits of mostly poor operatic librettos thanks to his ability to distinguish those emotions and shape them on the stage in a very peculiar way (cf. his stagings of the two operas by Berg).

Naturally, the late Chéreau did not have that same vigor to defy the crowds of those who believe that "art must be beautiful" or that "the opera staging is about the colored tableaux", but still remained true to his art that we dearly loved and deeply respected.



  1. As an opera fan I strongly hope the marvelous 1984 production of Lucio Silla (with splendid Anthony Rolfe-Johnson and Lella Cuberli) filmed at la Monnaie to be made widely available, which was combined with Heiner Müller's Quartett and Marivaux's La Fausse Suivante (starring Jane Birkin, Michel Piccoli and Didier Sandre) when it took its Paris premiere at Théâtre Nanterre-Amandiers. He did the most essential works during the 70s and the 80s and I will remember his productions forever with brave actors and singers collaborated with him.

    Arte will rebroadcast Dans la solitude des champs de coton with Pascal Greggory (1995 re-staging) and L'Homme blesse this weekend.

  2. I am glad to see you return after a lengthy hiatus, even for such a very sad reason. One can only wonder at the riches Chéreau may have had in store for us to add to his marvelous Ring, edgy and wonderful From the House of the Dead, Tristan und Isolde from La Scala, and the stunning Elektra from Aix coming to the Met in a couple of years. As is the case with Anthony Minghela, when they leave before their time, the world feels the loss in an even greater way.
    I have enjoyed reading your blog, and hope you continue in spite of some the inane responses in the past. You are mostly commenting from a part of the world I don't see often, and have always enjoyed your voice of reason in the midst of whatever else may be going on. And thank you for that. I hope to see a new entry in a very few days!

  3. P)roving I'm not a robot is much more difficult that trying to write an intelligent post. You can barely see the letters and numbers they want you to replicate. If they want a person to do it, we have to see it. I machine could just scah it and send it on, but that's not what you want. And bear in mind, some of us don't have perfect vision, in fact far from it. I may not get this one through at all - and it is nor you to read, not publish as part of your blog.